Concealed weapon laws regulate the carrying of weapons in a way that is not visible to the general public. Laws may vary regarding the precise definition of “concealed”. In most cases, this means that the person is carrying the weapon on their person, with it being concealed in their clothes, a holster, or a bag. In some areas, this definition also includes stashing the weapon in a compartment in a car while driving, such as in a glove compartment.
The term “concealed weapon” mostly refers to concealed guns and firearms. However, it can also include the concealment of other items, such as knives, clubs, or even pepper spray.
Is It Illegal to Carry a Concealed Weapon?
In most states, it is legal to carry a concealed weapon, so long as you have a permit. However, some states do not issue permits. State laws on carrying permits may vary based on several factors, including:
- The type of gun (i.e., pistol vs. rifle, automatic vs. semi-automatic, etc.)
- The area (i.e. some states have “Gun Free Zones”; restrictions may apply near school zones, etc.)
- The carrier of the gun – For instance, in some states, only certain persons who are qualified to carry a revolver may do so. Convicted felons generally lose the right to own a firearm upon conviction.
If you have questions regarding the legality of carrying a concealed weapon in your area, you may need to inquire with a lawyer, as permit and gun laws can often be exceedingly complicated.
What Are Some Defenses for Concealed Weapon Violations?
Defenses to concealed weapon and permit violations include:
- Valid permit: It is a defense if the defendant actually had a valid concealed carrying permit at the time of the arrest.
- Permit is not needed: In some instances, possession without a permit is allowed, such as certain situations regarding business premises or residences. These exceptions may vary by region.
- The weapon is not actually banned for concealed carry permits (laws can sometimes be subject to frequent change).
- Coercion: It may be a defense if the person was forced to carry a weapon against their own will under a threat of harm.
- Various other criminal defense theories
Penalties for concealed carry violations vary widely depending on the factors involved. Some states may issue only a citation or a fine for first-time offenders. Other states may impose felony charges, especially for cases involving repeat offenders or persons with prior felony convictions.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Concealed Weapon Charges?
Concealed weapon charges can sometimes be very serious and may lead to legal penalties and losses of certain rights. You may need to hire a criminal lawyer if you need assistance with concealed weapons charges. An attorney can help inform you of different legal defenses that may be available for your case. Also, if you need information about the concealed carrying laws in your state, you can contact a lawyer for legal advice.